Studio Verwey at De Hallen Haarlem

Opening Studio Verwey, September 14 2012 (photo by Jordi Huisman)

In the fall of 2012 Radna and Michiel organized a group exhibition and a series of public events at De Hallen, the museum for modern and contemporary art in Haarlem. De Hallen Haarlem administers Verwey’s estate and regularly exhibits his work. The exhibition Studio Verwey, on view from September 14 – November 18, researched the studio’s role for contemporary artists. Verwey worked mostly within the four walls of his studio, but what is the relationship that young artists have with their working space?

Five artists who at one time or another received a Fellowship from the Kees Verwey Foundation at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam showed new and recent works: Ištvan Išt HuzjanTomoko KawachiTala MadaniDerk Thijs and Sarah Verbeek. The exhibition focused on how these artists from different nationalities and generations make their art in the year 2012. The exhibition emphasized De Hallen’s role as a platform for young talent from home and abroad.

Kees Verwey in his studio in Haarlem 

Studio Verwey refers to the Haarlem artist Kees Verwey (1900-1995), who made his name as a painter, watercolorist and draughtsman. His studio in Haarlem was an important source of inspiration for him. His monumental studiopieces are a high point in his oeuvre. Photographs of Verwey in his studio, seated behind his painter’s easel, show the archetypical artist.

Globetrotters with a fixed workplace
For most of his life Kees Verwey remained in Haarlem, where he spent his time in the studio to paint. The five former Rijksakademie residents are very much internationally oriented. Their work varies from figurative drawings to conceptual installations. The studiospace is what they have in common. All of them spent time in one of the studios of the Rijksakademie and each of them still has a place of their own where they are able to work freely, paint on a daily basis or do research.

The lifecycle of the artwork: from studio to storage
 Studio Verwey demonstrates that artists are still very much attached to a physical workspace in these times of digitalization and mobile communication. Architect Jarrik Ouburg (1975) created the design for the exhibition, which he tailored to the idea of the artist’s studio. That is the place where they can experiment with new forms, colours and concepts, before bringing it out into the open where the work takes on new meanings through the confrontation with an audience. In Studio Verwey the confinement of the studio is set off against the museum’s public nature. When is an artwork ready to leave the studio? How do different circumstances influence the experience of an artwork? Can the museum function as a studio?

Studio Verwey, September 14 – November 18, 2012 (photos by Jordi Huisman)

Publication and activities
The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication with interviews and studio portraits of the artists by photographer Jordi Huisman and graphic designers Cobbenhagen Hendriksen. During the exhibition several public activities will be organised regarding the artists, their work and the significance and representation of the studio. For more information, click here.

Cooperation Kees Verwey Foundation and the Rijksakademie
The Kees Verwey Foundation administers the estate of this Haarlem artist and concerns itself with the dissemination of his mental legacy and work. Since 2005 the Foundation has annually supported a young artist with a Fellowship at the Rijksakademie. The Rijksakademie offers the highest level of artistic, theoretical and technical facilities and expertise to approximately fifty artists from all over the world. With this exhibition De Hallen Haarlem wants to emphasize the Rijksakademie’s infinite significance.

For the latest news about this exhibition, follow the curators Radna Rumping and Michiel van Iersel on their blogclick here.

This project was made possible by the financial support of the Kees Verwey Foundation.



Three times a year De Hallen Haarlem organises a cluster of exhibitions dealing with current developments in the visual arts. The museum holds a collection of modern and contemporary art comprising about 10,000 works. De Hallen Haarlem is part of the Frans Hals Museum | De Hallen Haarlem foundation. Xander Karskens is curator of contemporary art and will be providing guidance and assistance to the project.


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